Spark has switched on its second Internet of Things (IoT) network, LTE Cat-M1 (M1), which will run over Spark’s 4G mobile network to provide quality, low bandwidth IoT connectivity and will deliver a new capability for New Zealand in IoT.
The new network will be key to the progressive rollout of smart metering by Landis+Gyr, a global provider of smart metering and smart grid solutions.
Spark is the first operator in New Zealand to make its M1 network commercially available in main centres with a progressive nationwide rollout happening in the coming months.
The rollout of Spark’s M1 IoT Mobile network will connect a wide variety of new and existing IoT solutions and services including wearables, smart appliances, electricity, gas and water meters, asset monitoring, industrial automation and more.
Running on Spark’s cellular network, M1 technology enables lower cost devices, greater breadth and depth of coverage, and near real-time access.
Michael Stribling, Spark’s digital services lead, says switching on the M1 network will enable other IoT technologies like smart cities and connected cars from overseas to be adopted in New Zealand.
“M1 is a secure, high-quality network, ideal where sensors and devices are transferring data regularly and near real-time access to that data is critical.
“We’re working with customers on a broad range of use cases for M1, driven by its nationwide coverage and high performance. Great examples include vehicle telematics, smart metering, smart health devices and smart cities applications such as lighting and environmental monitoring.”
Councils and asset managers will be able to connect key infrastructure like environmental and air quality monitoring, transport and parking solutions, digital signage and street lights to the network to monitor their condition and enable better planning and decision making.
“We’re excited about the possibilities of IoT and what it’ll enable New Zealanders to do, and we now have a market-ready service that’ll help bring those possibilities to life,” says Stribling.
Spark’s Network Evolution Lead, Colin Brown, says M1 offers huge potential for businesses, government and cities to work smarter, make better decisions and deliver better outcomes. “We’ve invested in this purpose-built network so that our customers can take advantage of these possibilities,” says Brown. “We’re confident New Zealand will be well-set for future growth in this technology.”
Stribling says Spark is working with Landis+Gyr to roll out their smart metering technology on their network.
Spark says Landis+Gyr was the first in Australia to develop and demonstrate smart metering over the M1 network, which is being used in their smart meter and communication modules. The company already had smart metering solutions in New Zealand and opted to switch to Spark’s M1 network to take advantage of its broader coverage.
Rodney Chaplin, Landis+Gyr general manager of Australia and New Zealand, says rolling out smart metering over the new network will provide a robust solution for customers.
“Landis+Gyr meters fitted with our flexible and modular communication modules are perfectly suited to take advantage of 4G networks with M1 technology.
“This allows us to get to market quickly and provide utilities with a robust coverage to ensure the success of smart metering rollout.”